I have talked about making stew on here a few times before, but never gone into how we make it.
I am trying to get some good posts like The Pioneer Woman, but she will always rule at being uber complete in the steps. Our schtew is very basic, but I really would not know what else I would put in it. It is darn nummy.
I get cheap meat usually a round or sirloin, the big flat not too fatty or marbled stuff. Nothing you would grill on purpose unless you were very low on funds. I picked up a two pack of huge steaks for $6. One for the stew and the other for stroganoff sun eve.
I put it in the freezer to slightly freeze it. It makes cutting much easier. Not really needed for schtew though. Little cubes so there is no need to chop it up in the bowl or worry about ripping it apart when eating.
I use the stew pot pretty hot with a bit of oil in there to brown up the meat just a bit. I used olive oil, but butter or anything just to keep it from sticking will work. Pretty hot so I can get a bit of crusty brown bits on a side or two. Not looking to actually cook it all the way through, just get it started.
After two minutes or so in goes the low sodium beef broth and condensed Campbell’s beef broth. We like it really beefy and the condensed gives it an extra kick. The vegetables and stuff will suck a bit of the power so the beefier the better. Use enough to cover the meat a bit, but you will prob need to use it all anyways and it really can’t hurt.
Next I spice it up a bit. Misty’s seasoning is my Lowrey’s seasoning salt, it goes in about everything we make. 3 or 4 bay leafs. Bay leafs seem to be the ultimate beef stuff flavoring. I love them and use them with beef stuff every time. A little spicy stuff like cayenne, paprika, and black pepper round it out. You will not need to add any salt. The condensed broth is salty enough. We even use the low sodium beef broth to keep the saltyness down. You can always add more when in your bowl.
Let the beef , spices, and broth simmer covered for pert near an hour. Not too hot or the meat will get tough, but you want it too cook and the flavors to mingle.
Get your taters, carrots, and this time I added a bit of red pepper chopped up and cleaned. We just leave them in water till we are ready to use.
We like to have total control over how done the carrots and taters are, so we pull the beef out and place in a bowl with foil over it to keep it warm. We used to do carrots first, pull them out, then do the taters. We have found out that if the carrots go in 5 minutes early they will be just about right.
like my nails 😉
Get the veg boiling away to proper doneness. Since the meat has been taken out you need not worry about overcooking it. I keep the cover on so the broth does not evaporate and get uber strong. My goal is to use no water, it just seems wrong.
We like our schtew thick. Kind of like gravy soup. Nothing thickens like roux, so I make some up. About 3 tablespoons worth of butter in a good sauce pan and melt on medium. Let the water evaporate out and crop about 3 tablespoons of all purpose flour in there to get it going.
It will not be very thick but it is a good start. It will still be bubbling pretty intense so you might wanna back off the heat as you add more flour to get it to a thickness you desire.
I get mine pretty darn thick. It resembles cookie dough. You can let it brown up a bit if you want. the browner the roux is the better it will taste, the darker it is the less thickening power it has. I went with a sandy brown and turned off the heat. Whisk, whisk, and keep on whisking it to keep it from burning.
Pull out the veg and whisk in the roux to get it to the desired thickness. The broth / gravy needs to come to a slight boil for the thickening power to kick in. Add the meat and veg back in again and you are ready to eat.